We use the term "bad energy" all the time. Whenever something isn’t going our way, we’re quick to blame it. People who bother us or seem negative are often plagued with it and places that just don’t feel right are filled with it. But is bad energy really a thing? Does it truly exist and can it really mess us up? Here’s a look at bad energy and how to clear it out of your life.
Is Bad Energy Really a Thing?
Even though "bad energy" is often a New Age term (as is "good energy") reserved to explain the unexplainable, at the very heart of it all, nothing is solid, in fact, we’re all made up of energy. So, technically speaking, it's at least a half-true designation.
According to Darragh Dunleavy, owner of Trinity Wellness, when a room contains bad energy, it hits her like a ton of bricks. Dunleavy says that if people are in a bad mood it can change the vibe of the room.
"When I walk into a crowded yoga class to teach, I can tell the moment I enter whether there's bad energy in the room," she says. "I can feel it in my chest, heart, and even on my skin."
Signs of Negative Energy in Your Life
Sometimes you just feel negative and it’s a sign that you, your relationships, or your home are cluttered with bad energy. Some of these signs include:
1. Excessive complaining.
Sometimes negativity is so ingrained that you don’t even notice it and complaining is a good example of this. Complaining often creates more complaining which becomes a cycle of negativity. If you notice yourself complaining more often than usual or have trouble finding the positivity in life, that’s a sign you may need to clear out some negative energy.
Criticizing is just the complaining that you do about other people. It’s never a good thing because while it might feel right in the moment, it almost always feels bad afterward. When you create a vibe of negativity, you’re more likely to become surrounded by it.
3. Negative relationships.
Another sign that you’re plagued with negative energy is when you surround yourself with people similarly negative. It’s almost like you feel drawn to them while the people who inspire positivity seem to somehow be living in a dream world.
4. You blame others.
Instead of being the captain of your own ship, you tend to blame others for what happens in your life. You have an inability to look within and take an aerial look at what’s really going on.
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5. Everything feels cluttered.
Clutter and disorder are a major sign of negative energy. It’s hard to remain focused when you’re surrounded by it. In feng shui, clutter blocks the passage of energy from flowing through a home, but in my own experience, clutter in the home creates clutter and a since of anxiety in the mind, as well.
How to Clear Negative Energy
So now that you know you’ve got some negative energy in your life, it’s time to clear it. Being aware of bad energy is a great first step. And there are a number of steps you can take to clear the energy.
This is an obvious one. If clutter brings about negative energy, then decluttering can make things better. Take steps to remove the items that don’t bring value to your life. This is a process that doesn’t happen all at once. Each weekend, choose a closet, corner, or room to attack. Give away, sell, or trash items that aren’t worth keeping. Every time you buy something new, make an effort to take the time to replace it with something that no longer adds value to your life and gift that item away, recycle it, or if it's time, send it off to the landfill.
2. Create a sacred place.
Now that you’ve made all that space, take the time to establish an area, no matter how small, that creates positive energy. Consider an alter, zafu cushion, or comfortable pillow with some of your favorite things like pictures, candles, incense, or anything that makes your space peaceful and sacred. Make it your meditation space, a place for journaling, reading, or whatever mindful activity you hold true.
3. Surround yourself with positivity.
When you’re in a negative space and it’s time to cleanse, it’s important to surround yourself with positive energy in the form of people, books, movies, retreats, etc. Whatever speaks to you is fine, but just be aware that you become what you spend your time doing.
4. Inspire don’t criticize.
Instead of telling your peers how they should act, show them. Instead of telling people to be optimistic and to avoid gossip, be optimistic and don’t speak badly about people or complain. Create good energy by doing not just saying.
How to Detox Your Home of Bad Energy
The number one way to get rid of bad energy in the home, according to Dunleavy, is by burning white sage. If you feel like your home is filled with bad energy "smudging" your home is a must. A study published in the November 2006 issue of the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that white sage can actually purify the air. You can find white sage bundles at online retailers like Energy Muse sometimes at book stores, natural food stores, or farmers markets. Crystals can also be used to help clear bad energy in your home. Here are some tips for how to smudge your home of bad energy:
- After lighting your sage bundle, start with the doorway of your home and then move room to room, counter clockwise. Sage all windows, doorways, closets, and around the bed. If you feel like you're holding onto some bad energy, you can also sage yourself.
- If your home is new construction, you may also want to sage your home to remove any bad energy that builders might have brought in.
- Sea salt is also detoxifying. It can be used a number of ways in the home. For example, scatter it around the inside perimeter of the home, leaving it overnight, and vacuuming the next day. You can also place a small bowl of sea salt in water under your bed overnight to detoxify the body.
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